Teen Plans Arcade For Autism Fundraiser at Red Bank

RED BANK, NJ—The upcoming “Arcade for Autism” in support of Autism Family Services of New Jersey (AFSNJ) is the brainchild of a local teenager who has two siblings on the autism spectrum himself. ‘autism.

The interactive event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 4 at YESTERcades, 80 Broad St., Red Bank, said Andrew Visconti of Freehold Township, the organizer of Arcade for Autism.

The games will include retro arcade games such as pinball, but also vintage games such as Nintendo and games on Xbox and other platforms, he said.

“I do a lot of community service with MAST and the NJROTC,” Visconti said, “but lately I’ve directed a lot of my service outside of school toward autism efforts — especially after seeing how difficult things have been for my sister, who has struggled with virtual learning during the pandemic.”

Autism Family Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals and families affected by autism.

Visconti said he has three siblings, an older brother with PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) and my younger sister with ADHD, “so both are on the autism spectrum,” he said. he declares.

Visconti is a rising senior at the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) on Sandy Hook, and is chief petty officer of MAST’s NJROTC unit. He said he also received support from MAST for this extracurricular effort.

NJROTC Commander TM Smith-Yeoman served as her advisor and he noted that “she promoted the event on the MAST and NJROTC social media pages,” he said.

Outside of school, he said he runs three Facebook community organizations, which he co-founded with my brother in 2015:

  • We CAN Help NJ: This supports food pantries, pet adoption centers, recycling efforts and other charitable causes and now includes a special focus on autism resources.
  • Social Sense NJ: Advocates responsible use of social media and prevention of cyberbullying and includes articles on cyberbullying of people with autism and other people with disabilities.
  • Take a Hike NJ: promotes the benefits of outdoor recreation and now includes information showing how hiking helps autistic children with sensory issues.

In 2020, Autism Family Services of New Jersey (AFSNJ) awarded his brother a college scholarship, he said.

“They provide a lot of autism resources, so I wanted to do something to give back to the organization,” he said.

He added that he came up with the idea for the Arcade for Autism event in April after the College of New Jersey Technology Student Association’s high school conference.

“I was MAST’s team leader for the Video Game Design Challenge, and our game won second place statewide. It inspired me to use the game to support AFSNJ,” said- he declared. The game he and his colleagues created is called “Pyramid Scheming” and had an Egyptian theme reminiscent of archaeological digs in the early 1900s.

He said it was the first time he organized and hosted an event like this.

“I will continue to work as an autism advocate for AFSNJ and plan to volunteer my services as a lifeguard at their Autism Beach Bash in September,” he added.

Visit the Autism Family Services website for more fundraising information and to donate.

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